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Martin Bashir

News/Business. Journalist Martin Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.

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Romney 12, Us 11, Paul Ryan 11, Obama 9, Iran 8, Afghanistan 7, U.s. 7, Mr. Ryan 7, Ryan 6, America 6, Israel 5, Nevada 5, Chicago 5, Iraq 4, Krystal 4, Purina 4, Yemen 4, Colorado 4, Mr. Romney 4, Bill Clinton 4,
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  MSNBC    Martin Bashir    News/Business. Journalist Martin  
   Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.  

    September 11, 2012
    1:00 - 2:00pm PDT  

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mitt romney's readiness to take the helm. indeed, mr. romney has just wrapped up a speech to 4,000 national guard officers in reno, nevada, where he vowed he will not get political. just before saying this about returning troops from afghanistan. >> of course, the return of our troops cannot and must not be used as an excuse to hollow out our military through devastating defense budget cuts. >> oh, well, i'm sure that's not meant to be political, not at all. of course, that speech comes against the backdrop of a campaign facing days of questions and still struggling to explain why romney and his running mate made no mention of our troops or the war in afghanistan during their national convention. >> how can you not mention that war? >> why didn't you mention afghanistan in your convention speech in. >> they were essentially saying you don't care about the u.s. military because you didn't mention u.s. troops and the war in afghanistan in your nomination acceptance speech. >> i find it interesting that
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people are curious about mentioning words. >> and the evidence shows that that struggle to explain the most basic campaign decision may be reflected in voters' reluctance to trust mr. romney with regard to national security. a new cnn poll showing president obama with a 14-point advantage on being a strong and decisive leader. a 13-point lead on the man voters trust to handle foreign policy. and the man who has earned that trust advantage, the president, has just wrapped up a visit to walter reed military hospital spending time with injured troops there. at around the same time, paul ryan was out visiting first responders in wisconsin. sharing some lasagna, i'm sure making no mention of the fact that he voted against the 9/11 first responders health bill multiple times. indeed, the man who would be veep faces scrutiny on his record as he continues to claim that he has more foreign policy experience than the president had in 2008.
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>> what is your foreign policy experience? >> i have been in congress for 14 years. he was in the senate for far, far less time than that. i voted -- you know, norah, i voted to send men and women to war. >> that may be a dubious selling point with voters, mr. ryan, but i guess if that's all you've got. down in pennsylvania ryan's campaign counterpart, vice president joe biden, paid tribute in shanksville, pennsylvania, where one of four hijacked planes crashed after passengers fought back. following an emotional ceremony, the vice president had a moment of lighter connection showing his appreciation to a shanksville firefighter. >> you come to the white house, i will buy you a beer, okay? >> show being joe. we wouldn't have it any other way. we're joined by delaware attorney general beau biden, iraq war veteran, and the son of vice president joe biden. may i begin by thanking you for your military service and your
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continuing public service as attorney general, mr. biden. >> thank you, martin. thanks for alog he me to come on. >> thank you. mitt romney said he would not be getting political given today's anniversary, yet a couple lines into his speech he delivers overtly political comments about leadership, about his opponent, about the direction of returning military. is this man not in control of his own faculties? >> well, i don't know. i'll let the viewers be the judge of that. i know his speech wasn't consistent with what his staff said he was going to talk about, and that is not taking on the president and making this a political day. i'm going to follow the president's lead, the vice president's lead and honor those we lost on 9/11 11 years ago. everyone watching now, you i am sure, people on your staff, i know people, sons, a mother and a father who lost a son, a daughter who lost a father here in delaware. you know, this is a raw, raw day for so many families. i think it's best that the
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politics be left aside and we remember those who we lost and, as you have been doing, those who continue to serve our nation and our armed forces. >> when mr. romney accepted the nomination, he could not find it in himself to mention the troops who have served with such valor over the last ten years. i have to ask you, sir, is this, frankly, good enough for a man who wants to be commander in chief? >> well, you're going to test my discipline here a little bit, martin, but, you know, the reality -- >> i apologize for doing so, sir, but i have to say to you that you are a man amply qualified to answer that question. >> and i will. the reality is and the truth of the matter is i was stunned that as a man accepts his party's nomination for president of the united states, to be our commander in chief, he didn't even mention the war we were fighting, which will be our longest war, not to mention he didn't mention anything about veterans and our sacred obligation to them. i find it stunning.
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i find his comments in the aftermath of that stunning. his response to bill crystal's criticism and fox news' criticism of him, it's remarkable. what i have been talking about, martin, is what an exceptional president and commander in chief president obama has been. he's done exactly what he said he was going to do by ending a war in iraq, setting us on a path to hand over authority in afghanistan by 2014. making sure that we refocused our efforts on going after al qaeda in afghanistan and pakistan, decimating al qaeda. you saw the news yesterday what happened in yemen. proving the mission to eliminate osama bin laden from the face of this earth, and also and importantly, this is something i'm not sure romney and ryan understand, honoring the commitment we have to our veterans when they return. if i may, martin, 50,000, nearly 50,000 wounded, tens of thousands with ptsd, hundreds of amputees, hundreds with
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traumatic brain injuries, i think the president visited many of those troops today. 5,612 who have died, many of whom returned home through my home state, my father's home state, through dover air force base in delaware. and, you know, the president has understood that, understands we have a multigenerational commitment to these warriors. 2.3 million have served in these two wars representing less than 1% of our population, and that's why the president has increased funding for the va by more than any president has in three decades, adding 500,000 additional veterans to the va, improving other things including a tax credit for small business owners to hire veterans, improving the gi post-9/11 bill to give education opportunities that you can pass on to your children and your spouse. so many things that this president has done because he understands that a commander in chief doesn't just send troops to war. he knows how to bring them home. he knows how to make sure they have what they need when they go
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to war but he knows we have an obligation to take care of them to their final breath. president obama understands that. i'm not convinced mitt romney does. >> if i might just return for a moment, mr. biden, to your father, who was speaking earlier today. he spoke of the tragic loss of his wife in that accident -- sorry, his mother, forgive me -- sorry, your mother -- >> yeah. >> and he spoke of the pain of that tragedy. can i just ask you for a moment to convey to us what you know of your father in relation to that and how that has shaped his political life? because you speak about the president's concern for veterans. you speak about the president's concern for the military, but your father clearly has a deep sense of sympathy for those who have lost and who have suffered, and it comes from his own experience. >> well, you know, he quoted yates today, and i can't -- the poem i don't know off the top of my head, but it talks about
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being able to have joy and sorrow, and, you know, today is a raw, raw day. those mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, children, relatives who showed up at shanksville to honor their loved one or the pentagon today with the president, getting out of bed this morning is a difficult proposition. not to mention going to a memorial ceremony because today is as raw a day for them as it was the day it happened. my father understands that having lost my mother and my sister, and, you know, everyone watching, everyone watching has experienced some form of a tragedy in their lives, and my father -- my father's never forgotten that, and that's what you see in his ability to talk to folks today in somerset county in pennsylvania and empathize and connect to what their loss is. he doesn't -- what i think he talked about today was hopefully one day they will be able to
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think of their loved one and smile a smile for them before a tear forms. and i have heard my father talk to so many people over so many years, first responders, the families of those killed in action in iraq and afghanistan, law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, people killed in tragic accidents, and i have seen my father at their bedside, i have seen him do it time and time again. he's a special person that way. he knows what these people are experiencing, and, look, what my dad experienced is fundamentally different than what the folks that lost loved ones in 9/11 felt. that was a national tragedy. the eyes of the world are on you as you go through a mourning process. i can't even imagine. i can't even imagine. and my dad is trying to make sure he at least gives them some sense that he understanding the depth of their pain. >> mr. biden, thank you so much for joining us on this special day.
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>> thank you, martin. >> now i want to bring in msnbc contributor matt miller and lehigh university professor james peterson with us from philadelphia. matt, i read your article today and you talk about the remarkable fact that the george bush tax cuts were enacted at a moment when the nation was at war. why did that shock you so much? >> well, this is really -- the stunning thing, and it's important to remember now that we've been at war for over a decade since 9/11, is that this is the first time in our history where one of the major political parties has made it an absolute priority to cut taxes for the best off members of society while we're at war. that's basically going against the whole american ideal, the form in the past has always been if you've got a war going on, that means there's extraordinary new expenses. everyone is supposed to chip in in some way, especially those who are most fortunate in the society, answered when as beau biden pointed out less than 1%
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of the u.s. and their families are involved in the military, the idea that the republicans would focus repeatedly in 2001, in 2003 with the bush tax cuts, mostly benefiting the top, then again during the debt ceiling crisis where we had the whole u.s. government held hostage for a deal that would continue to prioritize lower taxes for the best off in society, that's never been done before, and it's wrong, and i think one of the things that's always amazed me is the democrats don't frame the tax argument this way. we usually hear the debate about fairness coming from the democrats and we hear about class warfare and the other, you know, the other red herrings coming from the gop, but why don't democrats just stand up and say, we don't cut taxes for the wealthiest people in society when we're at war. as we have been for a decade. >> of course, all of those were enacted after september the 11th, 2001. professor peterson, mitt romney wants to be president even though he won't provide a scintilla of detail about how he'd balance the budget.
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how do you feel he fares on foreign policy? >> to me obviously, especially in the most recent couple weeks, he's fared very poorly. if you look at the way he politicized his speech, it's one thing to say we're going to take a day off from politics and then not to honor that. but compare his sort of energy and his positionality in that speech with someone like attorney general biden, right? someone who kind of reflects the type of empathy and sensitivity and sensibility that's required to be in charge of the world's largest and most powerful military. we need someone who is going to command the military who understands what matt miller is talking about in his article. we're in an inverse leadership with taxes and taxation and our war policy and that's got to be corrected and changed. when you have somebody running for president who doesn't seem to have the sengsability, the sort of empathy and the compassion that's required to run and operate and control a
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military of the size -- expansive size and power of the united states military that's quite frightening. i don't think he's doing so well on foreign policy bona fides right now. >> even just to tag team with the professor -- >> please. >> -- if you have mitt romney not mentioning the troops when we have nearly 80,000 troops in iraq and at the same time his tax plan would protect the carried interest loophole for private equity mavens, which is something he's benefited from and why his taxes have been -- >> 13.9%, party. >> it means the republican motto today is let other people's children fight our wars and let's have it paid for by debt that we'll have other people's children pay off one day through higher taxes. this is wrong. >> one of the things that matt talks about in this article is how the republicans have compartmentalized some of the political discourse and so one of the results of that is that anytime we try to talk about doing your fair share, about the communal good, about people, that has been compartmentalized in the box of socialism.
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so one reason why the democrats are sort of loath to have a more robust conversation about taxation and responsibility in our society is because it's been sort of pigeon holed as being some sort of socialist discourse, being anti-american. >> matt miller, professor james peterson, thank you so much. next, paul ryan called on in congress for a budget that just doesn't add up. stay with us. >> i ran the boston marathon, and using the ryan math, my time would not have been a world's record, but within minutes, minutes of a world record. i could have made the olympic team. using ryan math, i would have been superb. if we want to improve our schools... ...what should we invest in? maybe new buildings? what about updated equipment?
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paul ryan's credit rating may soon hit junk bond status because on the day a second ratings agency threatened to downgrade america's debt, paul ryan is actually having to defend mitt romney's attacks on, well, on paul ryan. you see, romney is no fan of last year's debt ceiling deal nor it's automatic across the board spending cuts that may go into effect january 1st, not because the deal led to america's first credit downgrade, but because, well, it's not severely conservative enough. romney has called the deal is big mistake, so now ryan must defend that line even though once upon a time, ryan himself defended that big mistake. >> you voted for it. why do you think this is good for the american people. >> because we're cutting spending. >> it's a good step in the right direction. i'll take two-thirds of my direction than anything else and we're going in our direction.
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that's why i think -- that's why i think most republicans will support this. >> joining us now is democratic congressman john yarmouth of kentucky who sits on the house budget committee with mr. ryan. good day, sir. >> hello, martin. >> you heard mr. ryan in august. he said he got two-thirds of what he wanted in the debt ceiling deal, and that, quote, that's why i think most republicans will support this. let me repeat that, i think most republicans will support this. what's happened? >> well, you're going to have to ask republicans, but it's clear that mr. ryan didn't have a very good handle on not only -- not only didn't have a good handle on the people he served with but also i think it also indicates he had no intention of actually living by the agreement that he made and the vote he cast. first of all, they're both walking away from that deal now, but i think when you couple the fact that the republicans and all the negotiations back last year walked away from one deal, for instance, there was a 5 to 1
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cuts to revenue deal that the administration offered and another one that was about 2.5 to 1, they had no intention of ever accepting a deal that increased revenues. so i think the entire exercise was disingenuous. i voted against the budget control act because of the same reason. i knew it was kind of a sham deal to begin with, but clearly i think the republicans never had any intention on living up to it. >> extraordinary. here is what speaker boehner told his conference today according to an aide. he said paul ryan's selection by governor romney validated all the work house republicans have done over the past 19 months. is that a word you would use, congressman, validate? the most bitterly dysfunctional congress in living memory, and he says ryan's selection is validation. >> well, i'd hate to have anything i did validated by
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somebody who disowns everything i did because he's disowned the ryan budget, disowned the approach on medicare savings and changed ryan's approach to defense spending. if validation means rejection, that's a new definition for me. i'm still confused. there's valcation of it, there's rejection of it, there's voting for it, not voting for it. they're saying he got two-thirds and now he hates it. where does this man stand on any of these issues? >> well, you know, it's just bizarre to watch governor romney do his gymnastics, and, again, this has been said many times, but he's relying on the american people to have selective amnesia and dramatically short memory loss because it just seems like hour to hour he's willing to say virtually anything. >> this has become synchronized gymnastics. >> very good. it has been. the clear thing is that we know that paul ryan's selection has been something that the republican party is very much
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afraid of. the down ballot affect of his budget on house races and some senate races is already having an affect. you hear the rumblings around here from republicans. they're scared to death of it and now governor romney, realizing that this probably wasn't the most astute thing to do, is trying to separate himself wherever he can. >> right. >> it's fun to watch. >> yeah, i'm sure it is. the debt ceiling deal, of course, isn't ryan's only area of historical revisionism. he was wrong about the president closing up a plant in his home district, wrong about the president's medicare work requirement. he even gets confused about his own marathon times. why does mr. ryan have such a problem with accuracy and truthfulness? >> i don't know, but if you went through his budget, as we've done on the budget committee, you see there's plenty of evidence to support the fact that he's done this consistently. he, like governor romney, offers absolutely no specifics about how he's going to reduce loopholes in the tax code. he just plugs in some incredible growth numbers in the economy based on no evidence and no
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foundation and just says this is the way it will be and all of a sudden with all that my budget balances in 2040. so he's -- he really never has stopped to consider the things he puts down on paper as well as the things he said and it's now coming back to roost with him. >> maybe if they don't win the election in november, they should enter the 2016 olympics as the synchronized swimming team. congressman johnor mouth of kentucky, thank you, sir. stay with us. much more ahead. >> mitt romney should be up by five, six points and everybody out there who is saying every poll is inaccurate and, you know, all of this is -- we're making too much of this, you know the way to stop the doubters? start winning in these polls. start winning in significant margins. time for the your business entrepreneur of the week. joshua davis knows the
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salute, and one day closer to the presidential election. here are today's top lines. >> no act of terrorism can ever change what we stand for. >> the individual acts of heroism of ordinary people. >> of course i would have ordered taking out osama bin laden. >> as far as the middle east is concerned, this president's national security policy has been an abysmal failure. >> he seems to be getting a pass on it. >> president obama began his presidency with an apology tour. >> i take exception with that. >> top democrats are extremely worried about the state of their party and as a result they are running scared and flat out refusing to answer tough questions. >> where are the specifics of how you get to this math? >> the specifics are these, which is those principles i described. >> don't voters have a right to know which loopholes you're going to go after? >> mitt romney and i based on our experience think the best way do this -- >> you voted for the budget
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control act. you called it a victory and you called it a positive step forward. >> norah, you're mistaken. we are not going to duck these tough issues. >> when was the last time you ate a doughnut? >> i don't remember. >> mitt romney suggested that president obama wants to remove the phrase in god we trust from u.s. coins. >> i will not take god off our coins. >> or as romney calls coins, those jingling things you people have. >> obama can get a choreographed bear hug and it trends on twitter for two days. >> oh! >> everybody has heard a good laugh and then the secret service shot the man in the face. >> if you can't beat barack obama with this record, then shut down the party. >> romney, best thing he could do is remember this election isn't about him. he may as well be elmer fudd. >> way to stop the doubters, start winning. then people won't have a mini panic. >> let's get right to our panel now. we're joined by crystal ball, co-host of "the cycle" and dave
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corn in washington. crystal, a number of right wing commentators are apop lek tick about what's been happening with the ryan/romney campaign but what did they expect from mitt romney? >> it's a great question. i mean, honestly, i don't think they expected much from mitt romney but they have become so wrapped up in their own talking points and their own hatred of president obama that they thought anyone could beat them, that it didn't matter, that he was easy to beat, and they forgot the american people actually really like president obama and they want to believe him, they want to trust him, and now that they're being reminded of his accomplishments in his first term, they're saying, you know what? we think that we want to stick with the one we have. >> david, there's probably some justification for the outbreak of hysterical crying. a reuters poll shows that southern whites favor mr. romney by a substantial margin, but not nearly enough for him to win the election. he needs 60% of whites to win. that alone is cause for panic
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really, isn't it? >> well, it's an interesting political science experiment we're witnessing now. if you have a human being running against a robot, who wins? and the off broadway mitt was, you know, was a pretty good preview of on broadway mitt. he's campaigning the way he did earlier, but as people tend to focus in on this race now, we've been saying this for over a year, two years now, martin, you and i get obsessed about this but a lot of voters don't turn to this until after labor day and what are they seeing? they're seeing mitt getting trapped by being not specific, caught in ads that are not true, and all sorts of mishy-gus as we used to say in my house. it's not looking good for him. he should be up ten points given the state of the economy and what the polls say about people's belief about the future of this country, and it's all attributable to his lousy campaign, his lousy ideas. he's making barack obama look
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pretty damn good. >> and to that point, just quickly, political scientists have long had this argument, do campaigns and candidates even matter or is it just driven by the economic data? so in this way this campaign really is an interesting political science experiment, and what we're seeing so far is that campaigns do matter and candidates do matter, and i think democrats learned that to a large extent in 2004 when we were very upset with president bush but weren't too enamored with our guy we put forward, john kerry. that's not enough. you have to really like and believe in the person you're putting forward. >> but krystal limbaugh isn't talking about just losing the election. he's talking about the republican party being replaced by a new third party. given the kinds of things that rush limbaugh says, what kind of party would that look like? >> it is a scary thought. i think partly rush is just trying to really beat the drums to get people terrified so they
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will go out and vote. i think there's something to the idea in a second obama presidency, they have already telegraphed they want to push comprehensive immigration first. i think that will spark a civil war in the republican party. you have one side that has -- you have one side that says we need to take a more reasonable perspective towards immigrants if we want to survive as a national party. so i think there is something real to that tension that exists in the republican party. >> now, david, let's examine briefly if we can the true gauge of conservative self-confidence, that being rupert murdoch's twitter account. today he says there's no hope for romney unless he can declare independents from the far right. does that mean no more appearances with pat robertson. >> i think it means no more appearances on fox news. they set that up for you martin. >> seriously, david. >> listen, you have rupert saying get away from the far
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right, and then you have voices like rush limbaugh and laura ingram saying, hey, you're not being conservative enough. so once again we see what krystal just alluded to, this tension within the republican party. i'm not making preductions now and i think anyone who gets upset or panics or are overly confident at this point in the game is a fool on either side. if mitt romney should happen to lose, you have the same old fight within the republican party between those who say, you know, he didn't go far enough to the right and those who say he was tarred too much by his lurch to the right in the primaries. >> okay. both of you, starting with you, krystal, i would like you to listen to laura ingram who is appealing to history. >> that reminds me of a lot of the stuff that was being said in 2006 by some of george w. bush's top advisers. oh, don't worry, we have internal polls that show us we're going to pick up seats in the house.
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what happened in 2006? we had our clocks cleaned? >> will they have their clocks cleaned do you think? >> i think it's too early to say that, but i think you can look at the polling, not just in the past week but over a period of time and see that the president has held a clear lead, and if they don't fundamentally change what is going on in the campaign, they will lose, and that will have an impact on the senate and the house. >> david, do you think that there's a temptation for the president's team to become a little over confident given that we've had a number of polls now suggesting a small but significant lead? >> i don't think so because everyone knows there's also a couple hundred millions of dollars in dark money that's going to wash over this race and make -- who knows what attack ads and false attack ads they will be funding in the last few weeks, and i don't think they're going to just target the president, i think they're going to target key democratic house and senate seats as well. i think the people i have spoken to for the last year on the
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obama campaign are bracing for that onslaught. there will be some of that money coming from the democratic side as well but i don't think nearly as much. so they're still working hard, and they realize that this race is such because we're talking about such small margins that it can turn really quickly because of external events or something happens. so i would not look to these guys in chicago, akel rod and others to get it all flabby in the next two months. >> right. finally, speaking of republican panic, we're looking at a live shot in miami where bill clinton is about to speak on behalf of the president. krystal, he's given the gop plenty of reasons to be nervous over the years. >> certainly. he's given us a few reasons to be nervous, too, but he's been a fantastic spokesman for the president and the speech he gave at the dnc, what was incredible is how it was a point by point rebuttal of the lies and arguments that have been made against president obama. really quite incredible. >> david, i read your piece after the president's speech
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where you were quite polite about his speech. you didn't go as far as many have that bill clinton's speech was the speech of the convention. >> well, bill clinton's speech i think had a lot more emotion and passion in it than the president's speech. the president's speech was basically, hey, i'm looking for informed voters out there. that may be a problem but i'm looking for informed voters who see a clear choice in the paths ahead and who will look at what i want to do versus what mitt romney wants to do and make a judgment. bill clinton got out there, i thought what he did was gave a tutorial to the obama crowd and to all the delegates and every democrat. this is how we talk about this stuff. this is how the president should talk about it, how you should talk about it. there's three things you have to know about the other side. whatever he said. >> a lot of brass. >> it was marvelous. people would have sat there for hours listening more and more. and so it had a lot more emotion. it was more visceral, so it was easier for people to connect to it. i think both the president and the ex-president did what they had to do. >> david corn and krystal ball.
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thank you so much. stay with us. >> teachers strike in chicago. sorry -- >> i just -- when they do full press don't one of you -- >> we have the comments but they're not on camera. >> i don't think we can talk about the teachers strike. >> we are not going to duck these tough issues. [ rosa ] i'm rosa and i quit smoking with chantix.
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mitt romney and paul ryan repeatedly claim that we are not better off than we were four years ago. but on this 11th anniversary of 9/11, a more pertinent question would be this, are we safer than we were four years ago? on monday a u.s. drone strike killed this man, the number two al qaeda leader in yemen. he's one of several high level targets to be added to a list
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that, of course, includes osama bin laden. still, the prospect of a nuclear iran continues to raise concerns. michael o' hahanlon is the auth of "bending history" and he joins us now. good afternoon. are we safer today than we were four years ago? >> i would say somewhat, and i believe president obama has done a pretty good job on foreign policy, but i'm not really here to just try to answer that question definitively because for every step forward, there's been a half step back, not necessarily because of him or any mistakes he's made, but because of the world. so, yes, bin laden is dead, awlaki is dead in yemen. you mentioned another extremist operative who had been killed recently. certainly our drone operations have been quite effective generally. all that's to the good. obviously there are shared political responsibility for that and most of all it's the men and women doing the work on
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the ground who deserve the credit, but i would say on balance president obama has done a pretty good job. on the other hand, we have all this unrest in syria, in yemen, in mali, elsewhere, no the to mention the problem in iran that you just mentioned which means that whoever is going to be president in january is going to have a very full inbox on national security. so it's a provisional, partial judgment but i would say, yes, we are somewhat safer than four years ago. >> indeed. let me play what mitt romney said about his policy towards iran on "meet the press." listen to this, mike. >> i don't think we live with a nuclear iran. i think we make it very clear that a nuclear iran is unacceptable to the united states of america, to civilized nations throughout the world, and that we will maintain every option that's available to us to keep that from happening. >> okay. now, the last president and the current president both said the same thing, but do you think mitt romney would contemplate going to war with iran? >> that's not the reading i get. you know, both governor romney and president obama are having a
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challenge on the rhetoric of how to talk about this because they both want to sound very firm, but neither one wants to bomb iran anytime soon. >> well, mike, just thinking back for a moment though, during the primaries and the debates, mitt romney was pretty aggressive on iran. indeed, all of the republicans fighting for the primaries were. >> yeah. you know, although on his trip to israel what i was struck by was how governor romney talked about how he wouldn't necessarily try to stand in the way of israel conducting a strike if israel concluded there was no other choice. so as i have tried to actually be specific in looking at what each of these individuals has said, that's the place where i see the greatest short-term disagreement because both obama and romney have said an iranian nuclear weapon is unacceptable, but neither one is talking about an imminent american strike, so in the short term the difference of opinion i think is more about whether to give israel a green light or not. israel may not even ask for a green light. it may make its own decisions irrespective of our preference. >> well, indeed, because the
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white house today is denying reports it refused to take a meeting with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu when he visits the u.n. later this month. why do you think things stand between these two leaders. you probably heard mr. netanyahu has been quoted as saying, those who won't put down a red line for iran have no moral right to put a red line down before israel. >> well, red lines are tough, both george w. bush and barack obama tried red lines with iran saying that they can't be allowed to enrich uranium at all, but, unfortunately, iran has continued down that path and it's an incremental gradual progress, it's like the frog and the warm water that ultimately boils. at some point iran will be on the cusp of a nuclear weapon. when you say this is a red line and then iran just puts a tiptoe over that red line, are you really going to vik them and give up all your sanctions and all your weapons inspectors and all the good that's been accomplished by the sanctions effort of the last two
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administrations? so, you know, i have a lot of sympathy for both guys on this one. i think they're trying to make their differences of opinion look bigger than theyle are. it's a hideously difficult problem. there's no easy way around it. my guess is that romney would probably give israel the quote, unquote green light a little sooner than obama but i don't see a radical difference between the two. >> indeed. michael, as ever, thank you. >> thanks, martin. >> next, the president's busy day and busy week ahead. stay with us. i'm a marathon runner, in absolute perfect physical condition and i had a heart attack right out of the clear blue... i'm on an aspirin regimen... and i take bayer chewables. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. he's my success story. [ laughs ] until i had the shingles. i have never encountered such a burning sensation...y. it was like a red rash. like somebody had set a bag of hot charcoal on my neck.
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right now the president is arriving back at the white house after visiting wounded troops at walter reed, and while today's remembrance of september the 11th may have put a temporary pause on the campaigning, we are in the final stretch with just months until election day.
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nbc's kristen welker is at the white house and continues to be our guide. the president heads west to nevada, i believe, and colorado. polls show a slight lead for the president. does the campaign feel that the path to the white house now runs through the west? >> well, look, martin, good afternoon. i think there's no doubt that the obama campaign thinks that these two states are incredibly important. president obama has visited colorado eight times this year, including once when he went in the wake of the aurora shooting. he has visited nevada six times this year so far. the obama campaign has sort of mapped out five different paths to the white house. one of those paths runs right through the west and includes colorado and nevada, so these are critical states. they have set up a big ground game in both of these states. having said that, officials also say that ohio, virginia, and florida are the game over states. so you are seeing sort of a full press effort in those states.
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vice president biden has been focusing on ohio like a laser. fortunatelier president clinton is in florida as we speak and the first lady is heading to virginia on thursday. of course, president obama has been making multiple stops at all of those states. so i think colorado and nevada are certainly important. are they one of the game over states? no. but the obama campaign still maintains that despite the recent lead that they've seen in some of the polling, that this will still be a close race until the very end, so they're not taking any of the big battleground states for granted. >> indeed. now, mitt romney accused the president of taking sides in the strike by chicago school teachers. although the administration has not expressed any opinion on the matter. do you think the romney campaign could force the administration to issue a statement or do you think the white house will, as it were, retain its silence on the matter? >> i don't think that we're going to hear much more from the white house. yesterday white house press secretary jay carney essentially
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urged both sides to resolve this issue quickly to get students back into the classrooms as quickly as possible. this is a bit of a thorny issue for president obama. chicago is his hometown. the mayor of chicago, rahm emanuel, is his former dhef of staff. by the way, emanuel was supposed to begin to work with the democratic-leaning super pac priorities usa. that has been put on hold so emanuel can focus on this strike that is unfolding. so it's really a thorny issue. i don't expect that we're going to hear much more from the white house from the obama campaign. one obama campaign official though told me today, martin, that this is really a local issue. they think the romney campaign is trying to make it a central issue of the campaign, and i don't think they're going to go in that direction. >> i guess so. thank you very much. nbc's kristen welker. we'll be right back. ♪ god bless the broken road that led me straight to you ♪
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speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms plus has a decongestant for your stuffy nose. thanks. that's the cold truth! it's time now to "clear the air." and on this anniversary of those horrific attacks 11 years ago, the nation has paused to reflect, led by the president. >> your loved ones will never be forgotten. they will endure in the hearts of our nation because through their sacrifice they helped us make the america we are today, an america that has emerged even stronger. >> the president was mindful not only of those who have worn uniform over seas, but also the first responders, many of whom also gave their lives. and so earlier today vice presidential nominee paul ryan visited a fire station in wisconsin to recognize their service. but while mr. ryan was happy to embrace the photo-op, he hasn't
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always been so supportive. two years ago new york congresswoman carolyn maloney sponsored the 9/11 health and compensation act in order to provide proper medical support for first responders who had ingested lethal toxins, and concerned not to add to the nation's debt burden, democrats ensured that every cent was covered by closing a tax loophole on foreign corporations. but, unfortunately, mr. ryan repeatedly opposed the bill. he didn't actually turn up for the final vote in the house, but he did explain his position saying, this bill would create a new health care entitlement. as a result, had i been present, i would have voted against passage of this bill. on behalf of those who have benefitted from that legislation, thank god paul ryan was not present, and thank god paul ryan did not prevail.